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Dividing Candy Among Friends

Date: 04/04/97 at 20:29:18
From: Meghan Elizabeth Clare
Subject: Dividing candy

Dear Dr.Math,                                     
I have 48 pieces of candy and I want to give candy to 6 friends. How 
many pieces of candy will each friend get?


Date: 05/03/97 at 19:14:03
From: Doctor Sydney
Subject: Re: Dividing candy

Hi Meghan,

I think it is very nice of you to want to share your candy with your 
friends.  One way to divide the candy would be to make 6 piles of 
candy by first putting one piece in each pile and then add one more 
piece to each pile and then one more piece and one more until you run 
out of candy. If you do this carefully you will find that each pile 
has 8 pieces of candy when you are done. So each friend get 8 pieces 
of candy.

This process is called dividing, right? You are dividing 48 into 6 
groups of 8 pieces. How does this relate to multiplication and 
division?  Well, 6 times 8 = 48, right?  Remember, that we can 
interpret 6 times 8 as meaning 6 groups of 8. So, the equation, 
"6 x 8 = 48" can be translated to mean "when we have 6 groups of 
8 things we have a total of 48 things." 

We can also think about this problem in terms of division. If we want 
to divide 48 into 6 groups, that corresponds to figuring out what 48 
divided by 6 is, right?  And we know that 48 divided by 6 is 8.  This 
agrees with our answer above!  Phew!

Do you see the relation between multiplication and division and your 
problem?  How would you answer the following question: Suppose you 
were given 12 more pieces of candy, and suppose you still want to give 
an equal amount to six people.  How many pieces of candy would each 
person get?

-Doctors Judy and Sydney,  The Math Forum
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Associated Topics:
Elementary Division

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